16 Jan 2024


Đokić, D., Zekić, S., Brcanov, D., & Matkovski, B. (2023). Estimation of contribution of production factors to an agricultural output change in emerging and developing Europe. Outlook on Agriculture, 00307270231221811.

Countries of Emerging and Developing Europe (EDE) significantly transformed their agri-food sector in the last decades, and it has specific implications for agricultural tendencies and the economy of these countries. This research focuses on the sources of growth of agricultural production in countries belonging to EDE, as the former communist countries classified by the International Monetary Fund. This group of countries is particularly interesting because there is room for further growth in agricultural production, which can be crucial in times of crisis. This article’s main objective is to estimate agriculture’s production function and analyze the relationship between agricultural output and used inputs. Based on data for the period 2008 to 2019, results showed that the increase in the use of mineral fertilizers is a key source of production growth among production factors. Due to the economic importance of fertilizer use and its environmental effect, it can be concluded that agricultural policy must be created carefully in these countries to achieve a balance between economic, social, and environmental goals.

22 May 2023


Đokić D., Matkovski B., Jeremić M., Đurić I. (2022). Land Productivity and Agri-Environmental Indicators: A Case Study of Western Balkans. Land 11(12), 2216. (SCI. IF2021=3,905) ISSN: 2073-445X, M22

Due to the environmental radicalization of European politics, which is reflected in the European Green Deal, Farm to Fork strategy, and new CAP 2023–2027, this paper aims to determine the impact of agri-environmental indicators on soil productivity based on the land productivity function model. The paper focuses on the Western Balkans countries, which are in the process of European integration and which, in the coming period, need to harmonize their agricultural policy with the CAP. First, the aggregate Cobb–Douglas production function has been used to create a land productivity function. Then, the sources of land productivity growth have been calculated, which can be particularly interesting in the context of agri-environmental indicators, such as fertilizer use and livestock density. The research results showed that land productivity is the most elastic concerning changes in the number of livestock units per hectare. Consequently, reducing livestock units had a markedly negative effect on productivity. In addition, the research results showed that using mineral fertilizers is a crucial source of growth in land productivity in these countries. These results imply that the creators of the agricultural policy must carefully assess the pace at which they will harmonize ecological and economic goals, especially if they take into account the current Ukraine crisis that can disrupt the food market.

22 May 2023


Jurjević Ž., Zekić S., Matkovski B., Đokić D. (2022). Sustainability of Small Farms in Serbia: A Comparative Analysis with the European Union. Agronomy, 12(11), 2726. (SCI, IF2021=3,949) ISSN: 2073-4395, M21

Throughout the EU, small farms have varying degrees of importance, which points to the need to analyse the role of small farms. This study, in addition to EU countries, includes Serbia, a candidate country for EU membership. This study aims to provide an overview of agriculture’s structural characteristics by creating an Index of Agricultural Structural Characteristics (ASC Index). The analysis was carried out at the regional level, which provides a more detailed overview of the structural characteristics of agriculture in the EU and Serbia. The results indicate several regional differences in the EU along north–south and west–east divisions. Serbian agriculture is predominantly made up of small farms and corresponds to the southern model of European agriculture. In terms of the west–east division, Serbian agriculture also corresponds to the structure of Central and Eastern Europe countries (CEEC), with which it shares a historical heritage of a centrally planned economy. Changes in Serbian agricultural policy must be directed toward regions with unfavourable structural characteristics. Special attention should be given to small farms in cases where there is potential to improve competitiveness and where there is a good basis for improving the social sustainability of rural areas.

21 Dec 2021


Matkovski, B., Zekić, S., Đokić, D., Jurjević, Ž., & Đurić, I. (2022). Export competitiveness of agri-food sector during the EU integration process: Evidence from the Western Balkans. Foods11(1), 10.

Trade agreements with the European Union (EU) and Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) significantly influenced the liberalisation of agri-food products in Western Balkan (WB) countries. In all Western Balkan countries, there has been an intensification of the trade of agri-food products and a partial change in the regional and commodity structures of trade. This paper aims to identify comparative advantages of agri-food sectors and consider its tendencies during the EU integration process. Additionally, this paper will discuss some opportunities for improvement of the export positions of agri-food products. In that context and based on the literature review, the indexes of revealed comparative advantages and its modified version will be used as a main method for analysis in this research. Results showed that all Western Balkan countries, except Albania, have comparative advantages in exporting agri-food products. It is evident that Serbia has the highest level of comparative advantages in this sector. Moreover, this paper suggests that all countries should aim to provide the best possible positions for their agri-food products during pre-accession negotiations for EU membership and take the necessary steps towards increasing the level of competitiveness in the common EU market.

09 Nov 2021


Jurjević Ž., Zekić S., Đokić D., Matkovski B. (2021). Regional Spatial Approach to Differences in Rural Economic Development: Insights from Serbia, Land, 10(11), 1211.

Rural regions with a larger share of the primary sector in the overall economy are limited in their ability to achieve a sufficient level of competitiveness. In countries such as Serbia, where rural areas play an important role, addressing the problems affecting these areas is important for overall development. The purpose of this study is to determine the socioeconomic performance of the rural regions of Serbia and the EU in order to indicate the position of Serbia’s rural areas in the process of European integration. NUTS 3 (NUTS 2 for Germany) was used for analysis, and from this an Index of Socioeconomic Performance was created. This Index was created using Factor Analysis. The results point to Serbia lagging behind other EU regions in terms of development, with most of Serbia’s rural regions receiving the lowest ratings. These results are cause for alarm and indicate a need to create strategies that will direct resources towards key issues in these areas, whose potential would be adequately used through the implementation of rural policy measures, with the aim of overall socioeconomic development.

17 Mar 2021


Matkovski B., Zekić S., Jurjević Ž., Đokić D. (2022). The agribusiness sector as a regional export opportunity: evidence of the Vojvodina region. International Journal of Emerging Markets, 17(10), 2468-2489 DOI: 10.1108/IJOEM-05-2020-0560 

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine if the agribusiness sector can be an initiator of export on the emerging markets. For this aim, we analyzed export opportunities for the region of Vojvodina, the region in Serbia with the most potential for agribusiness. Design/methodology/approach: This paper uses the Comparative Advantage Index and the Index of Intra-industrial Integration to determine the region’s level of comparative advantage and the market’s level of integration on the main emerging markets. Findings: The results show that this region has the most competitive advantages in crop production – primarily in cereals and industrial plants – but the situation is not favorable for livestock production. Because of this, comparative advantage should be used as a factor for the growth of competitiveness in the sectors for which crop products are the raw material base. At the same time, agricultural policy measures should encourage more intensive agricultural production, which could create a better foundation for progress in the food industry. Research limitations/implications: Data collected on foreign trade at the level of statistical regions is not always reliable. Also, regional and local characteristics are specific to each country, so the ability to generalize conclusions is limited. Practical implications: This paper provides a useful review of the agri-food sector’s competitiveness and determines which agri-food segments have competitive advantages. It is essential for policymakers to identify what determinants improve or degrade the competitiveness of the region’s agri-food sector. Originality/value: Since there are a limited number of studies analyzing trends of competitiveness for the region’s agri-food sector, the paper will contribute to filling this gap. Furthermore, the framework is conceptually innovative in identifying the determinants that create export opportunities for the region on the international market.

04 Dec 2020


Matkovski B., Radovanov B., Zekić S. (2018). The Effects of Foreign Agri-food trade Liberalization in South East Europe. Economckycasopis. 66(9), 945-966.

Market liberalization in the countries of South East Europe (SEE), which wasa consequence of free trade agreements with the European Union (EU) and thecountries of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), led tochanges in foreign trade flows of these countries’ agri-food products. As agri-foodproducts are a significant part of total foreign trade in these countries, the objectiveof this paper is to analyze the liberalization effects established by CEFTAand EU integration. A gravity model for panel data was estimated for the agri–food sector of all SEE countries for the period 2005 – 2015, and databases fromUN Comtrade and the World Bank were used to create an empirical base for thisstudy. The results confirmed the importance of CEFTA integration, which madea significant contribution to imports and exports within this sector in most SEEcountries. Additionally, the results showed that the Stabilization and AssociationAgreement (SAA) with the EU had limited effects on the import and export ofagri-food products in SEE countries.

04 Dec 2020


Matkovski B., Zekić S., Savić M., Radovanov B. (2018). Trade of agri-food products in the EU enlargement process: Evidence from the Southeastern Europe. Agricultural Economics – Zemědělskáekonomika. 64(8), 357-366. DOI: 10.17221/134/2017-AGRICECON

Since the last decade, significant changes have occurred in the trade flows of agri-food products of the Sou­theastern European countries (SEE) due to adjustment to international market. Namely, as all countries of the SEE strive to be full members of the EU; market opportunities have been changing, primarily because of the reduced barriers on trade with the EU, as well as with the regional countries. In order to investigate the effects of the liberalization pro­cess of the agri-food sector of the SEE countries on their export, as well as the total foreign trade, a gravity model based on panel data in the period 2005–2015 has been estimated. According to the results, liberalization of the market in the SEE countries, as a consequence of the EU enlargement process, as well as regional integrations, had positive effects on the total foreign trade of agri-food products. Despite the positive liberalization effects on the agri-food trade, all SEE countries have a lower level of competitiveness than the EU countries, so an organized access to products which possess comparative advantages will be an important condition for the achievement of their particular positions at the international market.

04 Dec 2020


Marcikić Horvat A., Matkovski B., Zekić S., Radovanov B. (2020). The Technical Efficiency of Agriculture in Western Balkan Countries during EU Integration. Agricultural Economics – Zemědělskáekonomika, 66(2), 65-73. DOI: 10.17221/224/2019-AGRICECON

The main goal of this paper is to compare the relative technical efficiency of agriculture in Western Balkan countries to those of the European Union and to propose ways to improve the position of Western Balkan count­ries. The group of Western Balkan countries includes Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Albania, which are candidate countries for European Union membership, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is currently a po­tential candidate. An input-oriented Data Envelopment Analysis model with the variable return to scale was applied to an 11-year period from 2006 to 2016. Input variables used in the model included labour, land, and capital, and the out­put was presented as the value of agricultural production. The highest average technical efficiency was achieved by the EU15 countries for the entire eleven-year period, while the Western Balkan countries had the lowest score. The source of this inefficiency was identified in

04 Dec 2020


Matkovski B., Kalaš B., Zekić S., Jeremić M. (2019). Agri-food Competitiveness in South East Europe. Outlook on Agriculture. 48(4), 326-335. DOI:10.1177/0030727019854770

The purpose of this article is to determine the level of competitiveness of agri-food products in South East European (SEE)countries within the processes of European Union (EU) and regional integration as well as to find the factors thatdetermine agri-food competitiveness. This article uses the revealed comparative advantages (RCAs) index to find the levelof comparative advantage of agri-food products. Additionally, a model for identifying the determinants of the SEE agri-foodcomparative advantage was constructed and estimated. The results show that all SEE countries (except for Albania) havecomparative advantages in the agri-food sector as part of the global market. Also, the estimation of the model shows thatpartial productivities in agriculture have a positive impact on comparative advantage while gross domestic product (GDP)per capita has a negative impact. This article makes a useful review of competitiveness of agri-food sector in SEE countriesand determines which factors are significant for an RCA index. This is essential for policymakers to identify whatdeterminants improve or degrade competitiveness of the agri-food sector in SEE countries.